Monthly Archives: March 2018

Social media as a university application document

Image result for social media and college admissions

Retrieved from: journal.thriveglobal.com

About a month ago, one of my group mates at NUGSE and I did a presentation on the impact of social media pages to university admissions. The recent scandals around data abuses (Facebook and Cambridge Analytica) reminded and encouraged me to refresh this information in this blog.
Being one of the fresh inventions in human history, the role of social media (SM) is undeniably increasing in all aspects including education. Here in education, it is not only for learning or teaching, but also the SM seems to be convenient tool for university admission committees to recruit students. In 2016, Kaplan Test Prep surveyed 365 universities across the US on how they use candidates’ SM pages; Relying on the conclusions of the study, Kaplan Test Prep suggests students to ‘filter’ the materials before posting. According to the results of the study (Kaplan Test Prep, 2016), 40% of the university admission officers in the US answered that they browse candidates’ SM pages to get information that is not in the application documents. Unsurprisingly, the study shows that Facebook and Twitter are the most popular websites among admission officers. Kaplan also found that almost in 50% of the cases SM pages of candidates were helpful to students’ admission while in cases 42% it had negative influences. The examples of ‘useful’ SM posts were mostly about students’ social projects, personal and academic achievements that they shared online. Controversial opinions, uncareful language use, sharing picture of “brandishing weapons” and others were among the factors that made admissions committees to reject the acceptance offer.

Of course, such researches are valuable, at least to raise our awareness about the issue. But how about the idea of making acceptance decisions (partly) based on one’s SM media page? In my experience, my Facebook friends’ pages hardly tell everything about their personal and academic lives, but they indeed reflect one’s area of involvement and activeness. In other words, people sometimes share the information (whether it is positive or negative) that they might not include in their application documents or tell about in interviews. On the other hand, making conclusions looking at the social network page might be dangerous because sometimes people can accidentally share awkward things that they do not really know or care about. If the candidate is a type of person who do not use SM or publish anything at all , somebody who is surfing the Internet misunderstand it as passiveness. So, this assumption, that everyone shares her or his best moments or the thing that one shares necessarily reflects one’s real life, can lead to misconclusions.

What do you think: should social media page of candidates be considered in university admission process? Would you browse students’ media publications if you were an admission officer of some university?

References:

Schaffer R., (2017, February 10). Kaplan Test Prep Survey: College Admissions Officers Say Social Media Increasingly Affects Applicants’ Chances. Retrieved from: http://press.kaptest.com/press-releases/kaplan-test-prep-survey-college-admissions-officers-say-social-media-increasingly-affects-applicants-chances

 

Kazakh? Russian? Both?

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Today, Kazakhstani people are either monolingual or bilingual/multilingual so language and everything that is related to it are on the agenda here. We have two main spoken languages within the country – Kazakh and Russian. The presence of these languages are a debate topic and it brings up an issue about their statuses in people’s minds. Which language should we choose, in order to be more prestigious in Kazakhstan? Kazakh or Russian?

Opinions about these languages vary because some people prefer speaking only Kazakh and feel comfortable, while other consider Russian as more desirable language for communication. However, there are some people who give priority to both languages equally. I do think the same. In order to have high-prestige and to be more convenient in every situation, we should be proficient in both languages approximately at the same level. My own experience shows me that places where we are and people who we speak with have an effect on our language choice. So, different people unintentionally influence on choosing the language for communicating with them. For instance, most doctors and nurses in hospitals prefer speaking Kazakh with patients and visitors, but attendance some beauty salons induces them to speak Russian. It is taken from my personal experience. That is why, I conclude that I have to be proficient in both Kazakh and Russian for being able to deal with different people from various fields.

When I came to Astana for studying, I started to think about languages I know. I was proficient in Russian and English. However, I faced with people who defined me as a simple Kazakh girl with Kazakh appearance and they said that I have to know and speak pure Kazakh language. But I could not. It was a big challenge for me to pronounce something in Kazakh because I had an accent that made me feeling embarrassed. Also, there were some people who heard my pronunciation and advised me not to speak Kazakh at all. That is why, the stimulus to learn my native language decreased. Feelings about my egregious Kazakh were the same up to this winter-spring. This semester I have a Kazakh language subject; our teacher, Dinara, always tells me to speak with people in Kazakh even if I have a low level in it, to practice the language and not to pay attention to their unfavorable comments. Her words somehow have an effect on me and I sometimes try to speak with people in Kazakh.

I am quite proficient in Russian. I guess, it is perfect. However, I am eager to feel prestigious among various people that is why I must be proficient in Kazakh as well as in Russian. My post does not include anything about English, because it is like a sure thing to know it in the framework of trilingual policy within the country. But still we have problems with other two languages, don’t we?

What about you? Which language(s) do you think people should know in order to feel prestigious and convenient to every single situation? Kazakh? Russian? Or both? And why?

“YES” or “NO”?

More people fail from a gluttony of good activities than from being starved of them.

– Dharmesh Shah

 

HubSpot’s founder and angel investor* Dharmesh Shah writes blog articles on Onstartups.com. Despite most articles on this website are far from my field of interest, the article “Do Fewer Things, Better” written by Dharmesh Shah made me rethink my life rules and habits. Now, I feel I have to share it with you, guys.

Dharmesh Shah assures we have to learn to say “No” to things that have nothing to do with our life/ career goals. Saying “No”, as he claims, saves time and energy which can be used to improve ourselves in the way that will be beneficial for us. Hence, focusing leads to success. He didn’t invent something totally new. However, he experienced the aftermath of saying “Yes” to everyone and everything, he concluded he had to change something in his life, and he ascertained that this strategy works on his personal experience. He didn’t just share his story but gave tips accrued during many years of practice.

The tips are well-constructed and explained in simple words. More importantly, they are presented so interestingly that I followed suggested links to get a deeper understanding. Also, I liked how he used bold and italics to emphasize the keywords. Usually, when I read an article/ blog post I just look through it. But, here, his bold and italicized words and phrases were “screaming” and this helped me to focus on small but essential details of the main idea (for example, “But a few years ago, I decided to dramatically limit the time I spend directly helping entrepreneurs and the Boston ecosystem”).

Notwithstanding, the thing I was eager to know is how you know whether you should or shouldn’t say “Yes”. Shah writes: “Don’t favor what feels the most good.  Favor what does the most good“. It, actually, makes sense. But sometimes our emotions take control over our minds making it hard to think constructively. That’s why I find it extremely challenging but, surely, worth the effort. The thing I don’t fully agree with is that when you spend more time on something you prioritized and decided to say “Yes”, “you’re going to get better at it”. I know practice makes you perfect, but I believe the outcome depends on how well or effective that practice is done. So, I doubt this statement will be true every time.

Shah admits: “Everytime you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else“. I think this might have two negative consequences. First, you say “No” to other possible opportunities, that is, you might limit yourself. Second, you say “No” and leave others struggling, shatter their dreams, aggravate their condition, that is, you might become heartless and selfish… Or I am just thinking too much and in the first case you learn from your mistakes, in the second one other people say “Yes” to what you rejected and everyone will be happy. Who knows?!

This strategy is applicable not for startups only. We can adhere to it whenever making a decision. As I said, understanding of what you really need might be challenging, but I want to give it a try.

 

Angel investor*- an individual who invests his or her own money in an entrepreneurial company (Entrepreneur Staff, n.d.)

 

Reference

Entrepreneur Staff. (n.d.). Angel Investor. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/angel-investor

Can a robot pass a university entrance exam? (deconstruction)

Noriko Arai is the program director of an “artificial intelligence” (AI) challenge.  In our case, it is Todai Robot project, an AI which can perform multiple tasks in order to pass the entrance examination of a top university by 2020. During the speech, Noriko explains why Todai robot will be able to pass the entrance examination and the main reason why it will not enter the university.

The speaker claims that some people think that AI is smart enough to learn better than most of us and others disagree with this statement. In this case, she had carried out extensive research into the performance of AI in comparison to humans, especially in education. To demonstrate AI performance, Todai robot passed two different types of exams in order to enter the university. As a result, today robot was good at a national standardized test in multiple-choice style and for the second stage written test, it wrote a better essay than most of the students; and Today robot was smarter in answering history yes-no questions and mathematics.  According to this evidence, we can say that AI has a chance to outperform us in the nearest future if we do not develop education system and find a way to motivate young kids to learn school subjects which will be given great pleasure for further studying.

Despite the current success of AI in examinations where Todai Robot is among the top 20 %, and it was capable to pass more than 60 % of the universities in Japan. There is still an area where the modern machine can’t perform well. For instance, today robot made simple mistakes in the English test. Noriko Arai says that “modern AIs do not read, do not understand. They only disguise as if they do”. I fully support the idea that AI is not good at all school, university subjects because it can only write or calculate particular tasks where it is required to use formulas, algorithm. The scientists have created AIs; logically AIs can receive and use only basic commands from people.

However, Noriko tries to tell us is that nowadays most of the students collect information,  pack the knowledge without understanding the meaning of the knowledge, just memorizing, and AI can do the same thing. Unfortunately, in Kazakhstani context, most school graduates to pass UNT, they memorize all information in order to enter the university.  The memorization of school subjects cannot substitute “real” knowledge and “future” students of universities might be faced with problems they will forget most of the things they should know.  She suggests that education is needed to change while we have a time.

Noriko Arai’s speech reflects her desire to demonstrate the possibilities and the limitation of current AI by setting a concrete goal: a software system that can pass university entrance exams. She could demonstrate advantages and disadvantages of AI attempts to enter to the university and the memorization knowledge by students make them like “robot” where they cannot understand information.

 

Valeriya Gai Germanika’s “Shkola”. Subjectivity in absolute.

In 2010 Valeriya Gai Germanika directed critically acclaimed series called “Shkola” (School). Gai Germanika claimed that this series show true nature of schooling in Russia where teachers and parents do not understand personality of teenagers and that every student has rich inner world nobody respects.

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Retrieved from prokinozal.ru

So, after watching several episodes I can claim that Valeriya Gai Germanika is unique person (her awesome surname including). The reason for my statement is that she managed to create little sensation (not in a good way) out of series about high schoolers (even Vladimir Putin reacted). In her vision being oppressed by cruel parents, students are victims of corrupted system, whereas teachers are close minded tyrants, not caring about anything. In other words, “Shkola” fails in picturing any positive adult. In my humble opinion, “Shkola” represents majority CIS (Commonwealth of Independent Countries) citizens’ viewpoints about school system: it is corrupted, teachers are not qualified enough, and students are the ones who suffer the most. The TV-show further promotes such views as they can be applied to every school in post-Soviet country.

“Shkola” was broadcasted on national TV. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against showing indie series on TV. However, when the show shows (heheh) its bias towards teaching and parenting, I think authority of both of parents and teachers gets discredited in the eyes of viewers. In my opinion such shows must find solutions and ways to change society in a better way, instead of blaming it for everything without any support or arguments. Instead of showing ways to help students or attempts to solve schooling problems, “Shkola” delivers shocking content one after another, like how emo girl gets beaten by her friends or how teacher and young student are talking about sex. As a viewer the only message I saw was that school is hell and the only solution is suicide (the actual ending of this series).

It’s a shame that even if there are many movies about education in CIS like “The Geographer Drank his Globe Away” or “The Student”, the work of Gai Germanika got so viral and popular among common folk.

Retrieved from kinopoisk.ru

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Retrieved from wikipedia.org

What should movies about schools teach us? If you have seen “Shkola”, please, tell me about your impression.

 

Why schools should start later for teens? (Deconstruction)

When I was a teenager, I used to go to school in the morning. At that time, it was really hard for me to get up early. Now I can see that my brother, who is a teenager, has the same problem. I am sure not only we suffer from sleep deprivation. According to sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, sleep torturing is an epidemic among teenagers in the USA as well. What might be a reason for that? In her TEDx talks speech, Professor Troxel explicates reasons for this issue and consequences it might have. Moreover, she espouses the idea of “later start time of schools for teens”, delineating the threats of getting up early and benefits of having enough sleep for teens.

Image result for sleep deprivation teens

Photo credits to: Sleep-deprivation-increases-risk-of-depression-in-teens-850×500.jpg

Among various factors that contribute the sleep deprivation of teenagers, Wendy Troxel emphasizes public policy as the main one, since most schools in the USA start at around 7.30 a.m., thus, making teens awake far earlier. The consequence of it is not always positive. According to Professor, from the biological perspective, waking up teens at 6 a.m. equals waking up adults at 4 a.m. How do you feel at that time? Speaker states that she feels like a “zombie”. So, do I. Here is an example. The train from my hometown to Astana arrives at 4.30 a.m., and you have to get up at about 4 a.m., respectively. My state then is not the best. However, I have an opportunity to get enough sleep after getting to the dormitory. But what about teens, who have to go to school and gain knowledge as well? How can we ascribe them as lazy, irritable, depressive after that? Professor Troxel points out that these egregious characteristics are the aftermath of sleep loss. I completely espouse her opinion, because usually teens are more considered to have those outrageous personalities rather than children or adults.

As speaker mentions, unpleasant characteristics are not the only issue: sleep deprivation might be an impetus for mental and physical health problems as well. She represents the result of her team’s study in LA Unified School District. Chances are that 55 percent of teens with sleep loss issue used alcohol last month. Furthermore, another research with more than 30 000 students reveals that for each hour of sleep lost there was an aggravation in their feeling for 38 percent, and the suicide endeavours accrued for 58 percent. There are still health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. And this is not the full list. However, from these studies it is already obvious that sleep deprivation impinges on the personality and health of teens, so we do not have to ignore the issue. No parents want their children to be mentally or physically ill.

Now about the lucrative side of the later start time of schools. Indicating the study results Troxel explicates that there are plentiful benefits: less dropout and better academic performance, also mental and physical health of teens ameliorates. I cannot argue with her, as I am in the same stance. When you get enough sleep, you are in a good mood, consequently, you might succeed in everything you are involved in.

Speaker admits that there might emerge contradiction from some sceptics that there is no necessity to make schools later for teens, since teens need to toughen up, so they are ready for the real world. Personally, I cannot agree with this viewpoint. How can they be ready for so-called “real world”, if they have all already mentioned mental and health problems?

I was impressed by Wendy Troxel’s speech, since being a teenager I encountered this problem myself. Moreover, it was compelling due to the real facts from studies she conducted. We do not just want children to be healthy and successful, we have to underpin any idea that might be effective in achieving that goal.

So, the first one, I guess, is to make schools start later.

Pay it forward: Random acts of kindness.

“Pay it forward” is an international movement promoting the idea of random acts of kindness and aiming at making a world around us a bit better, a hopeful mission attracting millions of followers. In December 2015 I have become a part of the movement and later have made my own contribution into spreading the idea.

My colleague and I, “Batman and Robin” they used to call us, watched a deeply moving picture “Pay it forward” and got really inspired by the message behind the movie. In short, the movie is about a teacher, played by Kevin Spacey, trying to instill values and morals (what an irony!)  in children resulting in one of his students starting a movement of kind actions towards those in need. The boy suggests starting from yourself and extend helping hand to 3 other people encouraging them to do the same thing afterwards. This way he, a young schoolboy, created a chain (or a net) of kind acts, increasing social responsibility and changing dozens of lives.

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Retrieved from pikabu.ru

We had a strong belief that teaching values such as graciousness, humaneness, mindfulness and self-awareness had to be a part of school life. To make the idea work we needed to attract people (students in our case) and make sure the idea spreads and becomes sustainable. However, we faced difficulties (as it usually happens when you have startlingly great ideas): if we start simply instructing students it might be perceived as annoying moralizing. So, we needed to intrigue them, trigger their interest and absorb them fully as though they were playing a game. After a month of scrutinizing the matter we came up with a plan.

  1. Our team designed a visual representation of the movement and ordered 1500 badges and 2000 sticky labels with the logo.
  1. After months of preparation we held an all-school meeting and explained how the projects works: every student receives 2 badges and a set of stickers; the trick is to get rid of badges as fast as you can. The only way to do that is to help someone and give the badge to that person. The important thing is to instruct the person you helped to do the same: make an act of kindness and pass the badge on.
  2. We asked students to take photos of people they helped to if they could to share with everyone on our page in social network.

Most of students loved the idea. Soon enough it became contagious.

After a week our team started receiving stories and photos from the students. We were happy to see that many of them went outside the school into the town and spread the idea among a wider community. They helped passers-by, gave food to beggars, prepared other students for exams and did many other things. Even teachers got actively involved. The idea has also attracted one of the local kindergartens and we were able to “sponsor” them with dozens of “Pay It Forward” badges.

 

This project was a pride of our team. Even if we stopped the project a year ago, we still receive photos (the last one was sent to me three months ago). We do understand that it is a small-scale project and might have had a small impact on some students. However, we hope that it has pushed them to realize the value of support and care.

I wrote this little blog not only to share my experience but also to inform you that April 28 is International Pay It Forward Day. If you are interested in learning more, you might want to join the movement on http://payitforwardday.com/.

Please, comment down on what you think about the movement in general and our project in particular. We will use your feedback next time we run the project.

Happy upcoming Pay It Forward Day!

Why is it difficult to make a choice?

“Have you already chosen your thesis topic?” Every time I am asked this question I feel anxious, angry, broken, excited, uncertain, regretful, curious, annoyed. All at the same time. There are so many topics to explore and I am interested in each of them. How am I supposed to choose only one?! Once I decide to focus on one topic, I suddenly realize I find another topic as attractive as the first one. When I, eventually, make my “final” decision, my mind remembers another topic I could study. So, everything starts all over again. At the end of the day, I find myself standing in front of dozen topics not being able to decide. In order to overcome it, I tried to get to the root of the problem. As a result, a wish to fit the “expectations”, fear to miss something, the idea that “I can make a mistake” seem to be possible reasons for my procrastination.

The fact that my work will be assessed might influence on my topic choice. I might be desperately trying to find the topic which will “satisfy” examination committee or my supervisor. Since I don’t know much about any of them, my brain unconsciously goes over all the possible topics which could fit their expectations, which, in its turn, makes me change my mind several times a day.

Unhealthy hunger to cover all the topics also has all the possibility to be controlling me. As I said before, there are so many topics to explore and choosing only one of them means to lose the opportunity to study other ones. I refuse to make a decision convincing myself I am interested in all the topics, which is, in reality, nothing but the fear of missing something.

Along with that, the pressure to choose the right topic may cause the difficulty when making a decision. Ending up with the topic which doesn’t fully satisfy me, doesn’t correlate with my initial purpose, or turns out to be not interesting enough might be frustrating, so I unintentionally delay decision-making. Even the possible consequences of picking the wrong topic make me thinking up lame excuses. “How am I supposed to choose when I am interested in everything?” Isn’t it convenient to evade the responsibility?

Analyzing the reasons actually helps when solving the problem. Now I have a clear view. So, I am going to try to choose my thesis topic once again without thinking and worrying about others’ expectations, missing other opportunities and making a wrong choice. I have no idea where it will bring me, but I think this time choosing thesis topic will be more fruitful and less stressing.

What about you? Have you already chosen your thesis topic?

WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO DO A TED TALK

I could not quite relate to TED videos on youtube. This time I was looking at things from the perspective of a speaker; both the stage and the people felt odd, at least at first.

Oh, I talked at the 2018 KazTEA PST Conference about Translanguaging in Pedagogy, a topic my groupmates know I am so keen on.

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The STAGE and I

I should mention that one of the venues of the event was at Miras University, a private university in Shymkent. The stage they provided was a tad bit different from those you would see in TED talks. It did not fully meet the expectations of the speakers (including me): it was poorly equipped, it was dark and it was literally near the main entrance. You could imagine some people were entering or leaving the hall as I tried to concentrate on the audience. At first, it was disturbing, but a few minutes into my speech the bypassers and all the extra sounds stopped bothering me. I imagine it was partly due to how absorbed I was into the topic. Maybe, on top of that, it is also because I have learnt to focus on my task even in rooms full of people and noise (Shoutout to my ex-roommates!).

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The PEOPLE and I

Although I was afraid the listeners would also be distracted, they were surprisingly glued to my slides and me. Perhaps, the exaggerated intonation and non-verbal cues aided me in drawing their attention. Some still must have felt exhausted after the first day of the conference. It was past 5 pm. A handful of attendees leaned back on cosy sofas and seemed motionless. To try and awaken them, I started walking back and forth asking some questions and projecting my voice in their direction. Understanding that the longer the speech is, the less the audience is interested, I decided to touch upon the essence of the topic only. The decision was also based on the contingent of participants: students and school teachers comprised the majority. I guessed not many of them were familiar with research on multilingualism. Earlier the same day, observing the peers I went to seminars and demonstrations with, I made some changes to my PowerPoint presentation and notes. Owing to that, when I used simple language and relatable examples in my speech, the expressions on the faces spoke volumes. Most nodded in agreement and smiled as their everyday practices were addressed. At that point, I realized how crucial it is to put yourself in the shoes of the crowd to perform better.

Through this experience, I shared knowledge and I learned. I learned to command the stage. I learned to orchestrate seemingly minute details to deliver a speech. A speech that resonates with the spectators. Now, reflecting on the TEDx talk I recall the “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome” meme, which accurately describes what I attempted to do. I advise you to be ready to do so, too.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE A TED TALK? HOW WOULD YOU PREPARE YOURSELF?

The impact of globalization on “brain drain” in developing countries (deconstruction)

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Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042812025840

      The scholars from one of the Kazakhstani universities Zhatkanbaeva, A., Zhatkanbaeva, J., and Zhatkanbaev, E. (2012) published their analysis of brain drain with the title “The impact of globalization on “brain drain” in developing countries”. They claim that brain drain causes complication to the developing countries asserting that “the problem of “brain drain” is considered as a threat to national security” (p. 1490). To solve it, they recommend to recognize brain drain as a problem and reform the educational system. I appreciate that scholars have their recommendations on solving this controversial issue, despite the lack of supporting details and justifications for their claim. Seems that their thesis statement is not clearly structured in the introduction which consists of three paragraphs with separate ideas that resulted in the loss of the main idea. Moreover, the lack of roadmap made the article even vague.

          While reading it for the first time, some incomprehensible details appeared that could have been improved or prevented. Firstly, the article is not about “developing countries” as it was stated in the title. But only about Kazakhstan. It might be suggested to use the exact context in the title to make it distinct. Secondly, the definitions of major concepts are missing. As the paper analyses the concept of “brain drain”, it is useful to consider defining the term first. Thirdly, the article comprises a list of obscure details and ideas that make the work feeble. For instance, the first three paragraphs of “Heading styles” (I suppose, it to be a body paragraph), where the word “erudite” was thoroughly defined. The scholars jump from one idea to another without ending the first one. If you remember, the introduction was opened with the “globalization of education”, whereas, the body also contains some general information about globalization which could have been mentioned in the introduction. It could be the case to remind that “a sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences” (Struck & White, 2000, p. 23). Moreover, the scholars keep repeating some words, phrases and even sentences to emphasize its importance as in: “accommodation and flats” and “perspectives of career growth and position” (p.1492). The below given two sentences might show the repetition of weakly paraphrased sentences and an irrelevance to the context. The first excerpt is written in the introduction and the second one in the main body. Although the relevance to the context might be negotiated, both excerpts devoid of further clarifications in the kind of measures that make these statements deceptive.

Kazakhstan has been taking a series of comprehensive measures of a legal, social and organizational character. What is worth speaking about is the formation of Kazakhstan’s way based on the experience of different countries to overcome this problem” (p. 1490).

And

Kazakhstan undertakes a number of complex measures of legal, social and organizational character. We should mention the formation of Kazakhstan way of overcoming the stated problem, which combined the experience of a number of countries” (p. 1492).

            The other things I have to mention are the assumptions and a lack of justifications for their claims in the statements. Let’s have a look at some of them:

The problem of “brain drain” is considered as a threat to national security” (p. 1490).

I agree that brain drain probably brings some economic, social and educational problems to the country. But to argue it to be a “national threat” without any clarifications of why should it be a threat and without any justifications to support makes it a feeble argument.

“We have to state that schools and universities provide only the basic education” (p. 1491).

Zhatkanbaeva et al. (2012) assumed that schools and universities provide only basic education based exclusively on their teaching experience in the university. Although it might be true to some extent, the statement cannot be generalized to all schools and universities without any research done to support it.

“[Developing countries’ curriculum] … does not meet the international standard requirements, although these requirements do not exist” (p. 1492).

The other statement which is worth to mention. It seems that scholars again speak from their perspective, based on their experience of living in a developing country. The first assumption made is the developing countries’ curriculum which does not correspond the international standards, could have been explained in what way it does not meet it. However, I would argue that those reform changes that the government makes aim to fit those international standards.  The other speculation is rejecting those “international standards”, here, they contradict their own words.

            The article is written from the first person. The scholars mostly use “we” to refer to themselves in their recommendations and use their personal and work experiences in making the examples, not evidence.

            I guess that intended audience of this article are students and educators. The scholars presented their work mostly based on their practice without intelligible explanations and pieces of evidence to support their claims. After reading the article I wasn’t convinced at all with its content, rather got confused with their ideas, where they argue that “educational international standards do not exist”, on the other hand, they asserted that “Kazakhstan reforms its educational system based on the experience of different countries to overcome problems”. I greatly admire their effort in analyzing one of the debatable issues of our society, but to improve their article, I would advise to totally rewrite the introduction, body paragraphs, and write concluding paragraph (which is missing), support it with credible pieces of evidence and of course, to avoid making assumptions and bias. And remember to find a reliable peer-reviewer that makes the writing more credible.

How do you think this article could be improved?

References

Strunk, W., & White, E.B. (2000). The elements of style (4th ed.). Longman

Zhatkanbaeva, A., Zhatkanbaeva, J., & Zhatkanbaev, E. (2012). The impact of globalization on “brain drain” in developing countries. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 47, 1490 – 1494. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.848